יום חמישי, דצמבר 21, 2006

 

Well, that's a relief--Belief-O-Matic says I'm 100% Reform Jew!

I will admit a weakness for the time-wasting opportunities afforded by various "quizzes" on the 'net. Via TikkunGer, I came across one at Beliefnet called the Belief-O-Matic. So, I took the quiz.

And, ready or not, here are the results...

The top score on the list below represents the faith that Belief-O-Matic, in its less than infinite wisdom, thinks most closely matches your beliefs. However, even a score of 100% does not mean that your views are all shared by this faith, or vice versa.

Belief-O-Matic then lists another 26 faiths in order of how much they have in common with your professed beliefs. The higher a faith appears on this list, the more closely it aligns with your thinking. [...]

1. Reform Judaism (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (92%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (89%)
4. Neo-Pagan (86%)
5. Sikhism (85%)
6. Baha'i Faith (83%)
7. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (75%)
8. Orthodox Judaism (71%)
9. New Age (71%)
10. Mahayana Buddhism (69%)
11. Islam (67%)
12. Jainism (66%)
13. Secular Humanism (65%)
14. Theravada Buddhism (55%)
15. Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) (53%)
16. Orthodox Quaker (50%)
17. Hinduism (49%)
18. Scientology (47%)
19. New Thought (46%)
20. Taoism (46%)
21. Nontheist (38%)
22. Jehovah's Witness (37%)
23. Christian Science (Church of Christ, Scientist) (29%)
24. Mainline to Conservative Christian/Protestant (26%)
25. Seventh Day Adventist (26%)
26. Eastern Orthodox (21%)
27. Roman Catholic (21%)



Naturally, I am pleased at coming out 100% Reform Jew. I would never take a quiz like this too seriously, but it is fun and I certainly can't argue with the results. I would not have expected Neo-Pagan to come in at over 85%, but given the post below on ancient winter-solstice festivals, maybe I should not be so surprised! And that Baha'i comes in fairly high is hardly a surprise.

TikkunGer (linked above) has some interesting reflections on why "eastern God-centered" religions came in high on his own list. As for me, Sikhism scored high, but Hinduism low. I don't know enough about either to know why the two are so separated in my own beliefs (according to my responses to the quiz).

Seeing Liberal Quaker (I will admit I never knew there was any other kind) and UU up there is also not a surprise, I suppose (but see my "further reflections" below). Finally, seeing Eastern Orthodox Christian and Roman Catholic at the bottom reinforces my belief (so to speak) that the quiz has some validity.


Update: TikkunGer discusses re-taking the "quiz"!

And further reflections (22 Dec.): While I can see that one of the points of the quiz must be to reveal less-appreciated correlations of what I will call ancillary beliefs across faiths, any scoring mechanism that results in both Judaism (of any strain) and any form of Christianity being over 90% must be taken with a grain of salt (kosher salt, presumably). That is, the quiz's internal scoring and ranking mechanism is not eliminating faiths for which one or more fundamental beliefs of the quiz-taker contradict the faith. What I mean is that one--such as me--can't be compatible with any strain of Christianity if one utterly rejects the divine nature of Jesus of Nazareth. On the ancillary beliefs, sure, I am compatible with Quaker and some of the Mainline Protestant faiths, simply because I share many of the positions taken by the organized manifestations of these faiths on social and foreign policy. But they are still Christian and I am not. Taking them out leaves me with Neo-Paganism, Sikhism, Baha'i, and Orthodox Judaism to round out my top five. (Actually, New Age and Orthodox are tied; must be my inner mystic.)

For whatever it all might be worth...


Some other bloggers' experiences with the quiz:

Rachel, at VeryOpinionated.com finds "several of the answer choices too simplistic to accurately reflect what I believe." I expected to feel that way, as I did about a couple of political-beliefs quizzes I have taken. Yet one of the political-beliefs quizzes (which I may post here later) and this religious one produced perfectly reasonable results for me (again, for whatever it might be worth).

Ryan Schultz, at as I live a few more questions, finds that "what's interesting to me is how the quiz results actually match up with what I had already been thinking about myself and my spiritual beliefs" [emphasis in original]. He then had an inspired (pun intended) idea: "I would take the Belief-O-Matic test a second time, only answer each of the questions as I would have fifteen years ago, before I burned out of my job, before I came out of the closet, but after my separation and divorce. Results?" Quite different!

Rev. Matt Tittle at Keep the Faith found it accurate, and says that quiz-takers should be sure to take a look at their bottom five in addition to their top five. (Good advice, as I noted above.) And he invites readers to post their own in his comment section, and many did so.

Comments:
LOL, thanks for stumbling across that old post ever commenting on it because I'd completely forgotten about this quiz. I'm not sure that I completely understood everything you commented but nonetheless it prompted me to retake the quiz, so thanks.

as for your marks good for you you certainly scored higher in the reform than I ever have. There also seems to be a much larger discrepancy between Reform and Orthodox Judaism for you than there ever was for me.

thanks again for sharing, not to mention getting me to revisit and rethink a few things.
 
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